“This sentence doesn’t make no sense.”

double negative is a sentence or clause using two negative words. The rules say that double negatives are not grammatically correct and should be avoided … when using standard English. In some languages, however, like Spanish, double or triple negatives are allowed and seen as emphasizing (rather than contradicting) each other. But, in (standard) English they’re a big no-no because they’re confusing; double negatives cancel each other out and make a positive. So, using a double negative ends up conveying the exact opposite of what you mean. When you say, “I can’t do nothing right!” you are actually saying, “I always do everything correctly!”

Your life is a book. It is one continuous story, from the “once upon a time” beginning, through multiple chapters, conflicts and resolutions—as you become the person that “YOU” are to be, before reaching that final page of “The End.” However, at any given moment of time—even at THIS moment—your story could be summarized into ONE sentence: the subject, predicate, and object of your whole life up to this point. What would YOUR one “life sentence” say—TODAY?

Some people might be painfully aware that they have “incorrect” elements in their life sentence, because they have so many negatives in their life.  “The Rules” say that the multiple negatives cancel out the positive power of God. “What’s the use?” They may think that if they act bad enough—if they act hopeless enough—that others will see them for the hopeless creature that they are and cancel them out altogether. That everyone will give up on them like they’ve given up on themselves. But God makes up His own rules, and He cancels out no one. He will always do what He’s promised to do:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  (1 John 1:9 NKJV)

Every time. Our double, triple, or multitudinous negatives are nothing to him—no matter how many we stack up, compound, or string along on each other. If we confess and repent, He will forgive. On the other hand, we cannot cancel our own negatives, no matter what we do. Jesus is the ONLY way. Just one drop of His Blood applied cancels out any number of “incorrect” negatives.

When we stand before God, face to face, our life story will then be summarized into one final concluding sentence: either “I am a sinner” or “I am a sinner SAVED by GRACE.”

Prayer:  Dear LORD, You are the author and the finisher of my life story.  Life will always have its highs and lows, but how I choose to respond will determine the outcome.  I choose to submit and release to You every negative impulse, temptation, and emotion.  I choose to have a continually repentant heart, and I ask that you fill it with Your Spirit and Your Light so that there is no room for darkness or evil thoughts. I want the final sentence of my life to merit YOUR response, “Well done, good and faithful servant!


Barbara Hilderbrand and husband, Derrald, live in Wausau, Wisconsin. They’ve served in various ministerial roles within the UPCI over the past fifty years – pastoring in Illinois, Alaska, Wisconsin, and Global Missions’ Europe/ME region. Barb also served in Ladies Ministries in Alaska and Wisconsin. They now eagerly await their next assignment and/or the NEXT stamp on their passports. She also posts devotions and articles regularly on her website: BarbHilderbrand.com.

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